I’m Not Taking Blue For Granted Anymore.

The header image is taken from the article in AramcoWorld (linked below). Eric Lubrick/ Indianapolis Museum of Art.

In 2021 all art, craft and sewing supplies are so easily obtained in every color, that I was amazed to learn that the color blue was found and developed with much difficulty throughout the millennia. Yes, the story of blue goes back thousands of years BC to the first blue – still known as Egyptian Blue.  I was captivated by this article in a magazine called Aramco World, and am providing a link below. I can’t copy the entire article here due to copyright issues, as it should be. But, a complete read of this is fascinating. So go ahead click on the link below!   

THE QUEST FOR BLUE – AramcoWorld article by Tom Verde.

Images above from the printed version of THE QUEST FOR BLUE .

I’ll divulge a couple of things mentioned therein, though: according to the writer Tom Verde, a new blue shade which is presumably resistant to fading was unintentionally developed by a science team at Oregon State University in 2009, the Yln Mn (OSU calls it “Mas Blue”). Hah! We’re not done with the blues yet. 

Another piece of info in the above article: Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer (painter of “Girl With the Pearl Earring”) is said to have died penniless in part because of his lavish use of the blue “ultramarine” pigment, which cost a fortune in the 17th Century. It was made with lapis lazuli which had to make it’s way all the way from a corner of Afghanistan.

Stash fabric from China — indigo
The ginger jar is from a stopover in Singapore, not sure about the tiny sewing machine, and the lamp base is from a local furniture store

So, these days I’m looking at the blue stuff in my life with new eyes, be it porcelain, fabric or wall paint. Hope you enjoy the article – it may give a certain depth and background to our forays into fabric dying (if you’re into fabric dying).

The Chinese, once they got their hands on the pigment, and the blue/white porcelain aesthetic, they made a killing on exports — some things never change. Oh, and the called the pigment “Muslim Blue” or huihui qing. This color was at the time made with Persian cobalt; now cobalt blue.

There’s a whole timeline to the development of blue as we know it today — can someone create a graphic?? .

Hope you enjoy reading the entire article.


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